Blogs from Oxford Dictionaries for Children

Browse our latest blogs on children’s language:


500 Wondercrump Words: How young writers use Roald Dahl’s  language

From Agent Wonka to Big FriendlyZombies, snozsprouts to puckleberries, this year’s entrants tothe BBC Radio 2 500 Words competition showhow Roald Dahl’s language continues to inspire them......

500 Words 2017: word play in children’s stories

Any lexicographer will tell you that once you’ve worked with a corpus—a wonderfully powerful resource of real language evidence—you can never go back......

Dahlising the Dictionary: How the Oxford Roald    Dahl Dictionary is turning children’s lexicography on its head

It may seem like a straightforward task to compile a dictionary of words used by Roald Dahl. But which words should go in? Only words invented    by Dahl, or words that are Dahlesque in spirit?......

Why Gobblefunk is not gobbledegook

As Roald Dahl fans around the globe gear up for the author’s centenary this month, which also sees some of his invented words being added to the Oxford English Dictionary.......

Children's Word of the Year 2016: refugee

Our Children’s Dictionaries department have announced the Children’s Word oft he Year for 2016: refugee........

Shakespeare 400

We’re taking a break from our A-Z as today marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. To commemorate this special day, we are sharing an interesting extract from the Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary........

The A-Z of Shakespeare 

Throughout April we will be bringing you an A-Z    of Shakespearean words, taken from the brilliant Oxford Illustrated    Shakespeare Dictionary. Every day we will be guiding you through some of the most interesting words and definitions from the dictionary, one letter at a time!........

The Vital Spark: dictionaries and creative writing

I love dictionaries and thesauruses: they’re dazzling and thrilling and useful. I own a ridiculously large number (seven currently on my desk, though most of them are downstairs). I use them, for work and pleasure, all the time.
But now Vineeta Gupta, Head of Oxford Children’s Dictionaries, has asked me a question about them that’s completely baffled me........

28 million words, one corpus, and thousands of fascinating insights

Have you ever been told as a child to ‘stop daydreaming’ and pay attention?Then you will be interested to know that daydreaming is a word that is invariably used in a negative context by adults but in a much more positive sense by children........

Spell with Pip: a fun new app to help children practise their spelling

There are lots of quirks in the English language which make it tricky for children to spell words correctly. Here at OUP our    Children’s Dictionaries team has a huge database of children’s writing, so they can spot exactly the kind of spellings children often struggle with........

How do we decide which words to include in our children’s dictionaries?

Compiling a small dictionary for children is never easy – so many words competing for space in a book with a finite number of pages. Animals and    plants, clothing, fruits and vegetables, musical instruments, body parts,    animal noises........




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